CBC TorontoOntario Votes 2011

Toronto Votes: Breaking down the Ford appeal

Rob Ford

Rob Ford delivers his transportation plan (The Campaign to Elect Rob Ford)


As the municipal campaign in Toronto heats up, CBC reporters covering the election will be posting to this blog. The following is the first of a series of posts that will seek to illuminate and enlighten ahead of the Oct. 25 vote.

Jamie Strashin

By Jamie Strashin

So what now? That has to be the question being asked in the backrooms of those lagging behind Rob Ford.

Veteran political types have to be wondering what they can do to arrest the momentum of the front-runner.

But none of the old political dictums seem to matter in Toronto's mayoral race this time around.

For instance, Adam Giambrone, David Miller's faithful transit lieutenant, had his mayoral dreams quashed by a sex scandal. But voters seem uninterested or unimpressed by anything Ford's opponents have dredged up from his checkered past. There seems to be no skeleton that can derail him. Rather, Ford seems to register as a different kind of politician, a guy that you could go for a beer with.

Voters also yawn at attacks on Ford's vision for the city. The numbers in his fiscal plans don't add up? Cuts are surely inevitable? It all may be true, but voters are willing to overlook those details.

For years, Ford has been the face of taxpayer rage at city hall - long dismissed by many of his fellow council members as an annoyance more interested in making noise than policy. But people outside city hall are listening. His diatribes about lavish parties and councillor perks are resonating with an electorate that wants to kick butt.

It's a discontent he recognized long before his opponents. It is a discontent that can't be quieted with logic, assuaged with facts and graphs or five-point plans. Not this time. It's all noise to voters. They're angry, and Ford is singing the right tune. How do you beat that?